Gatvol with Football Tribalism


Carlos Kambaekwa Am I hearing a false note being trumpeted alongside the current transformation of the beautiful game? – I’ve been for years advocating for retired footballers to be roped in to assist with the development of the game in an effort to take Namibian football to the next level. But now I’m at pains to digest why some people’s perceptions are purely driven by tribalism rather than kaalgat facts – many football fanatics were angrily fingering the country’s football authorities for the tortoise-paced approach towards the appointment of a Technical-Director and National Coach. Phase One completed and mission accomplished; Seth “Mataba” Boois was finally thrown into the deep end – the NFA has done its job, finish and klaar !!. Phase Two; the search for a national coach is well underway, and I’m led to believe there has been a significant number of applicants from as far as England, Brazil, the Netherlands, France, Zambia, Ghana, South Africa and Romania. ÃÆ’Æ‘ÀÃ…ÃÆ”šÃ‚ºSo, without beating about the bush, let me set the cat out amongst the pigeons; tribalism has no space in my vocabulary and I don’t dig this particular exercise at all. I’ve been picking up some not-so-lekker-vibes in street corners, pubs and the occasional whispers while one is anxiously waiting in the long MTM queues to draw some hard earned moola, and these sort of squeals have now also made their way to graveyards and are being regularly hymned in between choirs under the guise of consolation to the bereaved families and acquaintances. I’m really getting gatvol of hearing phrases such as, ja these Damaras are now taking total control of football in the country and so on, but alas, so what? The incumbent Technical Director of the Namibian Football Association wasted little time to put his ducks in the row in an effort to map the way forward, and contrary to the usual arrogance associated with football bosses – the brother is always sniffing out for consultation with those in the know, and the drafting of former football greats Ismael “Lemmy Special” Narib and Pius “Garrincha” Eigowab, into the new setup is certainly a move in the right direction. Well, other football greats such as Jerry Shikongo, Oscar “Silver Fox” Mengo, Ranga Lucas, Albert Tjihero, Hophny “Grey” Umati, Gunter Hellinghausen, Steve “Kalamazoo” Stephanus, Nandos Mbako, Immanuel Kamuserandu and Selle Ochurub could still be roped in for some valuable advice on technical matters should the need arise. However, a sizeable chunk of the aforementioned old horses moved on and sought greener pastures away from football, and many of them are today successful businessmen, while others are trying their hand in the lucrative cattle farming industry. What is really mind puzzling, is the unjustified call for inclusion of other tribes at the expense of talented candidates just because they happened to be descendants of the Khoisan tribe – ag sies tog, what a disgrace. Anyway, everybody is entitled to their own stupid opinions because you still find some dickheads in modern times, who would rather prefer a candle to electricity just to pursue an already closed chapter – look at boxing which has been dominated, and rightly so, by Oshiwambo-speaking inhabitants, ja, let me rest my case. Lastly, good luck to Civics for their second leg encounter against the Angolan champions Sagrada Esperanca in Luanda tomorrow. Whilst the Civilians take a healthy four-goal lead into tomorrow’s match – I’m extremely worried about complacency as the Angolans can easily overturn the 4-goal margin and scrape through on a better goal average. I’ve on many occasions witnessed unthinkable things in football and I won’t be surprised if the Namibian champions’ fortunes suddenly evaporate in the searing tropical heat of Angola. There are so many factors that seriously need to be taken into account – firstly, the youthful Civics outfit will be playing in front of their biggest crowd ever and there’s also the issue of hometown decisions going against them – the occasional soft penalty or goals scored from dubious offside positions. Should Civics fail to get on the score sheet to settle their nerves and allow the Angolans to score two goals in the first period – then I predict a mammoth task for our boys, provided Helmuth Scharnowsky and his team of experts have done their homework thoroughly. Nevertheless, good luck to the Civilians and let us all hope they will go down in the history of Namibian football alongside the likes of Black Africa, Liverpool and Tigers for having been the only clubs to advance beyond the first round matches of any inter-continental competition. That’s it for this week – I’m off for the time being, until next Friday.